MEMPHIS, Tenn., August 25, 2011 – Today the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors named Melanie Blakeney as its Executive Vice President, effective Dec. 1, 2011. She succeeds long-time Executive Vice President Jules Wade, who will be retiring this fall.

Blakeney currently is Executive Vice President over MAAR’s Commercial Council and MLS. She came to MAAR in 1999 from the Lafayette Board of REALTORS® in Louisiana, where for a decade she served as President/CEO. Previously, she was Executive Officer over the Norman Board of REALTORS® in Oklahoma. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this position,” Blakeney said. “Everyone, from homeowners to REALTORS®, is aware that we still face a challenging economy. But I am continually amazed by the dedication and professionalism of our members and by the resiliency and character so often displayed by residents of the Memphis community. It will be a privilege to work in partnership with all of them in the coming years.”

MAAR President Leon Dickson called Blakeney the “best choice among many well-qualified candidates,” adding, “We had a nationwide search for what is a very important position. In the end, the strength of leadership and the grace under pressure that we have all seen from Melanie were the very qualities that inspired us to select her for this new role.”

Much has changed in the real estate industry since Jules Wade joined MAAR in 1981 as Director of Membership Services; he became Executive Vice President in 1984. When Wade joined MAAR, the MLS was a bound book and not a sophisticated database; a tweet was just a sound that a bird made; and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hadn’t been born yet.

“The members of this association have been extremely loyal through years of great change,” Wade said. “In spite of challenges, they have excelled on many fronts. They have promoted legislation that protects property owners. They have dedicated themselves to the enhancement of education programs and professional standards in the industry.

“Melanie Blakeney,” Wade said, “is uniquely qualified to lead us forward. She has the technology background and she has the experience from leading other associations. Even more important, she has earned respect and built strong relationships in both the residential and commercial real estate communities.”


Serving the Mid-South for more than 100 years as the Voice for Local Real Estate, the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® serves and represents real estate professionals as well as provides real estate information to the general public. About 3,500 members unite to make up one of Tennessee’s largest local REALTOR® organizations with real estate expertise stretching throughout the greater Memphis area. The MAARdata system includes records of all property transactions in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties. The MLS includes listings in Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, Hardeman, Hardin, McNairy, and Lauderdale counties in Tennessee; DeSoto County in Mississippi; and Crittenden County in Arkansas.

MAAR members subscribe to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics. For more information, visit MAAR’s Web site at